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Practice Management > Building Your Business > Leadership

The 4 enemies inside you

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Right now, your worst enemies are conspiring against you. They’re out to get you. Worse still, there are more of them than there are of you. You’re outnumbered, outgunned. But you can defeat you worst enemies. Here’s how:

1. Fear. The leader of the all of the enemies you face is fear. He’s a terrible foe, too. He can steal your breath and paralyze you where you stand. He can frighten you with the unknown and the uncertain. He can plant disempowering thoughts and beliefs so deeply in your mind that they grow roots that hold for a lifetime. But fear isn’t real. It’s only a small (albeit powerful) part of your imagination. You can beat fear by taking action in spite of being afraid. Once you’ve taken action in the face of fear, you’ve beaten it.

2. Procrastination. Fear doesn’t come alone. He almost always brings his partner, procrastination. Procrastination builds on fear. Since you’re afraid of being judged, afraid of being hurt, afraid of failing, procrastination lulls you into the false comfort of inaction. She whispers in your ear that there will be time later, even though she knows damn well that time lost can never be regained. Procrastination is a sweet-sounding but merciless adversary. You can beat procrastination by pursuing meaningful, dream-fulfilling goals. The passion you have for your goals can sweep aside procrastination in an instant.

3. Apathy. If procrastination doesn’t get you, her brother apathy will try to soften you up. Apathy goes to work sapping you of energy and enthusiasm. You can’t be passionate if you’re tired, cynical or pessimistic. These are the weapons apathy uses to steal your goals and dreams. You can beat apathy by keeping your energy high. A positive attitude protects you from apathy’s worst influence.

4. Distraction. While you’re busy looking at distraction’s fancy moves, he blindsides you with a knockout punch. It’s a pleasure to watch distraction work. You can’t take your eyes off him. As soon as you think you’ve got him figured out, he brings out something new to drag away your attention and destroy your focus. And, when you realize you’re bored, he’s ready with novelties and trivialities. You can beat distraction by giving yourself over to your work and ignoring the pleasant and interesting things he waves in front of you.

There they are: your most dangerous foes. Unless you can fight them — and win — they will rob you of everything you hold dear.

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Anthony Iannarino is the managing director of B2B Sales Coach & Consultancy, a boutique sales coaching and consulting company, and an adjunct faculty member at Capital University’s School of Management and Leadership. For more information, go


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